Letters to the Editor

The gearing keeping renters out of the market

If a second house for rental is renovated and costs negatively geared, then should the house be permanently rented? Can the investor decide to sell it later? This means he can pay more at auction than a principal home buyer (see principle) thus pushing the price up, squeezing first home buyers and creaming off a taxpayer funded bonus.

If negative gearing is dropped, the billions saved by the government could go to increasing the First Home Buyers Grant nicely and at no cost, and keep a lid on prices. In 1990, the average Melbourne house was $140,000; now $810,000. that is in 27 years, almost a six fold increase. Using flat figures not compounded, 27 years from now, six fold becomes $4.8 million average. On an $800 wage at 0.9% yearly rises becomes in 27 years a $216 pay rise to say $1000.00 a week. Over 50 years, this is about $2.6 million. 4.8 less 2.6 equals $2.2 million shortfall for a house without any living expenses. the great Australian dream of home ownership has elephants in every room and deposits are being left behind.

Scott Morrison's negative gearing supposedly holds down rents. To see  eight people in a rooming house apartment, legal at four, divided up with bed sheets for privacy and paying up to $155 a week is a legacy.  If negative gearing is scrapped and this forces rents up then they should only rise by the percent that they dropped years ago when the windfall negative gearing came in if they are directly linked. Cost cuts can be absorbed but rises pass on. 

Colin Holmes, Ballarat

THe future must lie with renewables

Renewable energy resources such as wind and solar will receive subsidies up to $2.8 billion per year up to 2030 to ensure Australia reaches its Renewable Energy Target. The Australian Government provides $5 billion in subsidies, nearly double renewable energy subsidies, to assist fossil fuel production. At their party's federal conference (9 September 2017) the Nationals voted to, "remove all subsidies for renewable energy providers over a five-year period".  Whether the recent hurricane catastrophes in the Caribbean and United States were caused, even in part, by fossil fuel emissions is impossible to say. What we do know, and this was known long before anyone thought of climate change, is that the warmer the ocean waters are over which hurricanes form, the greater will be their fury. We know with absolute certainty that fossil fuel emissions are warming the ocean, atmosphere and land.

\We know too from satellite laser altimetry observations of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ongoing since 1994, that runoff from melting land ice and expansion of warming oceans is raising sea levels at the rate of 3 mm per year. Warming oceans and rising sea levels will fuel the perfect catastrophes of the future. In Australia, climate change induced by fossil fuel use will bring devastation to domestic agriculture, fisheries, tourism, coastal infrastructure and will threaten human health. The threats to our national security and sovereignty are even more terrifying. In nearby third world nations, the lives of hundreds of millions of innocent people will be destroyed as their homes and agricultural land on low-lying coastal plains are obliterated by inundation and violent weather events. They will have every reason to blame us for their fate.

The true cost of subsidies to maintain our coal industry is an infinite amount because it represents the destruction of our future. The extreme conservatives of the Coalition with their love of coal, hatred of renewable energy and denial of the climate change threat are the most dim-witted, dangerous and treacherous politicians our nation has ever seen.  Base load renewable energy solutions are here. Those of us who really love our country must go all out to ensure they are implemented.

The financial makets and tax incentives mean as house prices climb the advantage is with the investors rather than new home-owners.

The financial makets and tax incentives mean as house prices climb the advantage is with the investors rather than new home-owners.

Lawrie Wilson, Ballarat.